Today has been a beautiful day! The air was a crisp, cool 60 something this morning and there has been a rustling breeze all day. I say rustling because the trees are making a happy noise as their leaves dance against each other in the wind. It’s been a long time since the air has moved so much in one day.
About three weeks ago I broadcasted Seventop turnip greens all along a 3’x50′ bed. Last week I began to notice how the plants on one end were growing much quicker than the ones on the other – larger leaves and such. Today I figured out why! The end of the bed with the more lush growth gets some afternoon shade each day. The end with the straggly growth receives full sun all day long. Since turnip greens are a cool weather crop it only makes sense that the end receiving shade from our scorching afternoon sun would be growing much better. Next year’s late season turnip greens will be under a shade cloth each afternoon. I’ll let them soak up the morning sun first.
Last year I bought twenty-four bushel baskets from an old potato farmer who was closing shop. I brought them home and stuck them right out in Hubby’s shed – dirt and all, knowing that one day I’d surely use them to harvest my own crops. So far I’ve only used two of them for harvesting pinkeye purple hull peas. I’ve gone ahead and taken them from Hubby’s shed to the field, washed off the old mud, dried them in the sun, and stacked them away in my garden shed where they’ll wait to be used for collecting next year’s harvest.
I spent some time today measuring the field and drawing up a schematic for future planting beds. I’ve managed to leave myself a 30’x50′ area next to a water spicket for compost bins, storing composting materials, and washing and packing vegetables. This space is also right next to the garden shed where we’ll be adding a lean-to. I’ve found a second space where we can put a table or two for more veggie washing or just hanging out in the shade.
This plan includes the apple orchard, pecan trees, fig trees, strawberry beds, the areas just mentions, one tiny hoop house for starting our own plants, two permanent flower beds, 28 planting beds of various measurements for veggies and herbs, and a few deciduous trees to replace some of the ones we lost this year. I expect it’ll take at least two more seasons to dig all twenty-eight planting beds but we should be able to get everything else done by February at the latest and start next season with at least 17 of those planting beds. Bed digging time begins next week.